Consultation on ticket office changes

Monday, 6 March 2017

A consultation starts today (Monday 6 March) into changing ticket office facilities at seven Greater Anglia rail stations.

It is proposed to replace seven ticket offices which serve a very low number of customers with enhanced ticket machines, and, in some cases, station staff to help customers with ticket enquiries.

The affected stations are Walton-on-the-Naze, Thorpe-le-Soken, Alresford, Great Bentley, Dovercourt, Harwich International and Great Chesterford.

All of these stations have very low ticket sales that fall well below minimum sales thresholds set by the Department for Transport to consider an application to alter the statutory opening hours, so Greater Anglia is intending to submit applications to withdraw ticket office facilities at them.

All the ticket offices affected, except for Great Chesterford, are served by trains with on-board conductors who can also sell tickets to customers.

Under the new franchise, which started last October, Greater Anglia is making significant investment in new ticketing arrangements and station facilities.

This includes installing ticket vending machines at all stations and upgrading existing machines so that they are easier to use and more “user-friendly”.

Other improvements include:

  • Investment in Smartcards for Season Tickets
  • Expansion of web sales and digital ticketing for mobile devices
  • Upgrading customer information systems at stations
  • Upgrading CCTV
  • Upgrading Customer Help Points at stations

At Harwich International, a member of staff would be on duty at times of major demand, such as when there are cruise ships in port, and to assist with customer service at adjacent stations. There would also be similar member of staff based at Thorpe-le-Soken.

Greater Anglia will also continue to have procedures in place to provide assistance to Mobility Impaired customers.

Andrew Goodrum, Greater Anglia Customer Service Director, said: “We believe this is a sensible step in terms of providing a better, more cost-effective range of ticket purchasing options, targeting investment and facilities in a way that works for customers, whilst also being good value and sustainable.

“On other Greater Anglia branch lines, such as the Ipswich to Felixstowe and Norwich to Sheringham routes, services already operate successfully in this way.”

A consultation on the proposed changes is being conducted by Transport Focus from Monday 6 March to Monday 20 March.

To take part in the consultation write to Transport Focus, at Transport Focus, Freepost (RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ), PO Box 5994, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 9PZ or email [email protected].